How much do you enjoy kicking around hypothetical questions like, "If you knew you had only six hours left to live, how would you spend it?" This film is playwright, actor and first-time feature director Don McKellar's answer. Since this
is a low-budget Canadian film rather than a Hollywood blockbuster, the end of the world isn't about spectacle; forget the flaming meteors, globe-trotting tour of the world's landmarks and panicked mobs finding out that the end is near. We're in Toronto, the world is going to end at midnight and
everyone knows it they've know it for long enough that plenty of them are sick of it. Patrick (McKellar), an embittered widower, plans to meet the end alone, though first he has to get through a squirm-inducing mock Christmas celebration with his sappy parents (Roberta Maxwell, Robin
Gammel), and younger sister (Sarah Polley). Patrick finally escapes, only to find the disheveled Sandra (Sandra Oh) on his stoop; she's trying to get across town so she can have a last dinner with her husband and Patrick reluctantly allows himself to be drawn into her quest for transportation.
Meanwhile, Patrick's pal Craig (Callum Keith Rennie) is taking the last bites of the sexual smorgasbord he's been sampling since he realized time was running out. There are poignant moments in this apocalyptic "what if" exercise, which also features some clever cameos by the likes of David
Cronenberg and Genevieve Bujold. But the impact of these small-scale dramas doesn't really compensate for having been put through 93 minutes of contemplating the mortality of the human race. And McKellar is a rather grating performer with whom to share such an experience; it's hard to imagine
wanting his nasal whine to be the last voice you hear.
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